In a game that, on paper at least, the Cubs should have run away with, they couldn’t manage to get anything going at the plate. It was a baffling night as Kyle Hendricks (4-5, 2.90 ERA) pitched well but didn’t get the run support he needed – again – to notch his fifth win of the season. The Cubs lose a close one, 3-2 (Box Score).
One moment that should be mentioned is Addison Russell’s incredible diving catch in the bottom of the first inning. Phillies lead-off man, Odubel Herrera hit a soft liner to left and Addison just plain robbed him on a beautiful diving grab. It was one of those plays that really, really makes you appreciate the excellence that Addison Russell brings to the Cubs defensively.
Between the two teams, they managed 12 total hits, or six a piece. Not exactly an impressive offensive showing by either club. One hit here, another hit there, one run here, no runs there. The Cubs couldn’t muster even one extra base hit on the night.
The biggest highlight for the Cubs, or at least close to it, was when Albert Almora came in to pinch hit for Kyle Hendricks in the top of the sixth inning. He grounded out, but it was exciting to see him get his first major league at-bat tonight.
The Cubs made a late push in the top of the eighth inning, down 3-1. Miguel Montero reached on a throwing error followed by a single by Addison Russell, and suddenly the Cubs were in business. A single by Javier Baez moved Matt Szczur, who was pinch running for Montero, to third base and the bases were loaded with no outs. It was right then that everything felt right, the Cubs were going to win this game after all.
One Fowler sacrifice fly and a Jason Heyward double play ball later, and the Cubs threat was extinguished. All that and only one run.
The Cubs managed to get two men on in the ninth inning with two outs, but David Ross hit a ground ball to the Phillies’ shortstop, Freddy Galvis, and that was it for a sluggish night for the Cubs.
Stats that mattered
- Hendricks was good, not great, but got no backing from his offense – 5IP, 2R, 4H, 2BB, 6Ks
- Tommy La Stella managed a couple of base knocks – 2-for-4
- The Cubs bats were mostly silent – 6-for-31 and only 2 walks
The Cubs looked stagnate, plain and simple. They had a very low energy level to them in this one and it felt like they were just going through the motions. That happens in a 162 game season, so it’s nothing to be overly concerned with, just one of those nights.
The Cubs will get another crack at it tomorrow afternoon as they take on the Phillies at 12:05 PM CDT, to close out the series. John Lackey will take the hill as the Cubs try to bring home their 14th series win of the year.